Over the years there have been some confusing and conflicting suggestions about what the correct breathing technique is for weight lifting, pumping iron or bodybuilding. But with sports science doing extensive studies on this subject the correct technique has now been clearly demonstrated. We know that whenever you perform any exercise the muscles send a message to the brain for more energy.
What this results in is the increasing of your heart-rate which is going to demand more oxygen by breathing deeply and correctly at the same time. The correct way to breathe when lifting a weight is to exhale slowly as you lift the weight and as you return the weight to the starting position to breathe in normally as possible.
You should always try to breathe normally when lifting weights and if you are completely out of breath then you need to stop training until your breathing returns to normal. As mentioned above there is a lot of the controversy in the use of holding your breath as the lift gets more strenuous. This elevates the blood pressure immediately and could be dangerous if you are already dealing with high blood pressure.
It is therefore recommended that if you can’t perform the exercise without holding your breath you should use a lighter weight. But that is only part of the correct breathing technique as it gets more complicated when we get into what is known as the IAP (Intra-abdominal pressure ). A good definition of IAP is the increased pressure that builds up in the abdomen to aid in stabilizing your backbone and assists it to not buckle under heavy weight.
You can increase the effectiveness of your workout an by doing a move called partial Valsalva or full Valvsalva movement which is a breathing technique in which you exhale with your windpipe closed. It is a way helping you hold your breath so you can fill your stomach with more air to a bigger exhale. Just think of taking a really deep breath then extending that breath by expanding your stomach. Once you exhale you will have a longer push from the extra oxygen that was withheld.
That in a nutshell is what is known as the partial Valsalva effect. Although this will have an enormous stabilizing effect on the spine it could also increase your blood pressure so if you suffer from high blood pressure you should consult your doctor first. However if you are under medication then it should be OK but you should still speak with your doctor about this.
Another factor to mention here is about using a training belt. Many lifters do not tighten their weight-belt tight enough because if it is very tight the abs get pushed against the belt as support. Keeping your belt loose can further assist your weight lifting breathing technique IAP and help you get more out of your workout.
So in conclusion you should be to exhale just past the point of a full breath. This helps your lift by giving you that extra second to power through your lift strongly. The key is to time your exhale as to not let your breath out too quickly and run out of breath and lose that extra tension built up in your spine that the Valasavla movement gave you.